Evacuation Life – Gaza War 2024

Once upon a time, there was a joyful family – a father, a mother, and two delightful children, Dialah (8 years old) and Mohammed (7 years old). Everything changed when the war erupted in Gaza Strip, Palestine. Life came to a standstill – no schools, no work, and no hope for the future. The war days brought hardships with no electricity, water, or sufficient food. Forced to evacuate under Israeli soldiers’ instructions, we left our home with no time to collect essentials. Witnessing our house’s destruction, our tears spoke volumes.

On December 5, 2023, the unbearable suffering led us to evacuate to a land near the sea, where my entire family joined. Harsh conditions prevailed, with distant bathrooms, makeshift kitchens, and water fetched from the sea. Adapting to this life, on January 23, 2024, an Israeli tanker approached, forcing us to bury ourselves in the sand to survive. Tents around us burned, and the relief of still being alive was overwhelming.

Choosing to evacuate to Rafah, we found refuge in my cousin’s concrete house. Tears flowed as I experienced a shower with hot water and returned to work as a humanitarian agent. However, the announcement of an Israeli operation in Rafah compelled us to evacuate again, setting up new tents, bathrooms, and kitchens. Daily, I spent three hours reaching work, aiding displaced individuals. Facing the specter of death daily, I could only focus on staying alive, forgetting to mention my pregnancy.

Now in my 8th month, with soaring market prices, no time for delivery, and scarcity of baby supplies, life became a struggle. A glimmer of joy came when our Egyptian colleagues sent chocolates, bringing dance and song from my kids. The local market offered no meat, eggs, or chicken, pushing us towards a vegetarian diet.

In the midst of all this, we ask for support, advocating for our rights. Leaving Gaza is daunting and expensive, costing $5000 per person to coordinate with the Egyptian side. We deserve a chance to start anew in a peaceful land, where life can be lived with safety and protection. Our plea is for a fresh beginning, where our children can experience life with a peaceful rhythm. Help us evacuate and restart our lives.

Photo credit: Photo provided by the storyteller

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Mays Astal

my name is mays Astal ,working with Catholica relief services in Gaza strip as resilience field officer ,am mother for two children , I have variety of experience in humanitarian sector as I worked as site engineer , field worker ,MEAL worker ,field officer. I'm the one who love to read stories for children ,walking long distance and adapt with hard situation.